Expedition to Kertch agreed upon - Vacillation of General Canrobert-Expedition sails General Canrobert causes it to

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be recalled - Gallant Our indignation against the French affairs of the 1st and 2nd of May between the French and Russians French capture ambuscades and nine Cohorn mortars Suspension of arms Severe loss on both sides Expedition returns O Council of War - French lines round Kamiesch Arrival of General La Marmora and Sardinian Cholera

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infantry Effective state of the English army

Miss Nightingale and M. Soyer Sorties from the town English casualties-Proposed movements of the allied armies Lord Raglan's objections General Canrobert offers him the supreme command, and then refuses to give his sanction to the Field-Marshal's proposals - Resignation of General Canrobert General Pélissier succeeds to the command of the French army · - Respect of the latter for Lord Raglan's opinion and judgment - Sardinian army - Reinforcements Council of War - Expedition to Kertch again arranged Reconnaissance along the coast-Alupka: its beauty, garden, &c. Orianda - Spoliation by the French - Yalta - Gallant attack of ambuscades by the French on May 22nd and 23rd Their frightful losses - The Allies take up the line of the Tchernaya Expedition to Kertch- - Extracts from despatches.


Head-quarters before Sevastopol,
May 1st, 1855.

WE have the most beautiful May-day after a week of damp, raw weather. I hope it may be an omen of future success, though at present things look

gloomy enough. I told you in my last letter that an expedition against Kertch had been agreed upon by the Commanders-in-Chief of the English and French armies, and that a Council of War was to assemble to arrange preliminaries. Well, the Council was held on the 29th ult., and the following arrangements made:-the French were to send a division of 8000 men under the command of General d'Autemarre, and we were to send about 3000 men, under the command of Sir George Brown, who was also to have the chief direction of the expedition. It was intended that Kertch should be taken by a coupde-main, and it was expected that there would be no difficulty in doing this, as we know that there are no inland fortifications, only several heavy batteries looking seaward, which command the Straits. It was proposed to land the force this side of these batteries, and then by taking them in reverse, they might easily be captured. The Russian garrison of the town is known not to exceed 8000 men, and indeed it is doubted whether there are as many; it is said there are no troops nearer than Argin, a small town in the interior, on the direct road between Arabat and Kertch, at a distance of about thirty miles from the latter place, and there, it is supposed, are about 6000 men.

The importance of the expedition cannot be overrated, as, if successful and our ships are able to enter




the Sea of Azoff, one great road from Russia to the Crimea by the Isthmus of Arabat would be cut off; besides, it is expected that large supplies for the Russian army on the northern side of the sea, could be taken and destroyed. All the arrangements were completed, when, yesterday, General Canrobert sent to Lord Raglan to say that upon reconsideration he thought it impossible to send away any of his troops from before Sevastopol, as, from information he had received, daily reinforcements are arriving to the Russian army in the neighbourhood of the town, and that therefore, in the event of an attack being made by them, he should require all his troops. On the receipt of this decision of General Canrobert, Lord Raglan once more urged upon him the importance of the expedition, and begged him not to give it up, or at any rate to have a Council of War to discuss the subject once more. To this General Canrobert agreed, and the Council sits this afternoon, and I have great hopes that Lord Raglan will be successful in persuading him to persevere in the expedition to Kertch. This continual want of decision on the part of the French Commander-in-Chief cannot last; he is not equal to his position. We now hear that, after all, the Emperor Napoleon is likely to come to the Crimea, and all that we can hope for is that he may shortly arrive and take command of an army, whose high military reputation will ere

long be compromised, if it remains in the hands of a man apparently so unable to make up his mind on any subject as General Canrobert.

Head-quarters before Sevastopol,
May 5, 1855.

At the Council of War held in the afternoon of the 1st instant, Lord Raglan managed, after much talking, to persuade General Canrobert of the great advantages to be derived by immediately taking Kertch, so that at length he gave way. It was decided that the French force under General d'Autemarre should consist of eleven battalions of infantry and two batteries of artillery; in all about 8500 men. We were to send the 42nd, 71st, and 93rd regiments, four companies of the rifle brigade, two companies of sappers and miners, 700 royal marines, one battery of artillery, and one troop (50 horses) of light cavalry; in all about 3000 men. Three weeks' provisions for the troops were embarked, and a sufficient number of baggage-animals for the transport of stores, ammunition, and tents. The entire force was under the order of Sir George Brown. I should have mentioned that General Canrobert had been the first to propose that Sir George Brown should take command of the expedi

tion, a very high compliment to him; and further, he had selected General d'Autemarre, as he knew he would most cordially co-operate in any undertaking with the English General. I need scarcely remark that Lord Raglan was equally desirous that the chief command of the expedition should be intrusted to a man of whom he had so high an opinion as Sir George Brown.

On the afternoon of the 3rd, everything being in readiness, the expedition sailed from Kamiesch Bay and Balaklava Harbour, and, taking a northerly direction, steered past Sevastopol. This was done in order to mislead the enemy, and, if the ruse sucIceeded with them as well as it did in the allied camps, the Russians must have been put entirely on the wrong scent. It is needless to say that every endeavour had been made to keep the destination of the expedition secret; but, like all secrets known to several people, it had got pretty generally believed that it was to go to Kertch. In consequence, however, of this northerly movement of the fleet on its departure, it was bruited about in the camps that Odessa was to be attacked, and on the way the fleet was to pick up a large force of Turks at Eupatoria. The French actually published a memorandum to that effect! So far all went well, and we were looking forward to the laurels to be gained by the force under Sir George, and hoped at last that we

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